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Staff Coffee Talk #1: Tips For College Students (from your PokeCommunity Staff) [Daily Bloggity Entry #347]

Posted September 3rd, 2016 at 1:00 PM by El Héroe Oscuro



Staff Coffee Talk #1:
Tips For College Studetns

Date:
03 September 2016
Time: 3:58 PM ET
Mood: Can't get rid of this cough

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"Staff Coffee Talk is a new series in the Daily Bloggity which focuses on PokeCommunity staff either giving advice or accounts/stories on different aspects of life which we cover. If there's a particular topic you would like us to talk about, please leave your suggestions in the comments below. Staff Coffee Talk will be a series appearing randomly within the Daily Bloggity and will appear on such day at 5 PM EST. "

Below is a list of tips from your PokeCommunity staff about how to tackle college:


Jaehaerys
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaehaerys' Advice
Spoiler:
"Hmmmm, off the top of my head (I'm sure there are lots and I'll think of more later):

1. Try to see your academic advisor at least once each semester/quarter that way you can make sure you actually are meeting all your requirements, etc.

2. There are a lot of reputable textbook rental services - check those before buying/renting through your school.

3. If you have time available, look at possibly doing research within your department or interning with businesses nearby. By time you graduate, you'll be competing with people who already have work experience + a degree so it's good to have something on your resume.

4. If you have issues with mental health, see about your school's program. For students, mine only charged $5 a session to speak with a counselor once a week and if money is a problem, you can set up a payment plan. It could be the cheapest option!

5. Have fun have fun have fun, don't listen to people who shame you for sleeping late and doing nothing but play video games through all your holiday breaks, you'll never have them again so enjoy themmmmm ;_____;"

Fairy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairy's Tips
Spoiler:
"The major thing that I learned in college, about college:

Take advantage of campus resources. Talk to your professors, your counselors, your advisers, use student services - everything. There's a lot of free help available in college if you're struggling with anything from time management to problematic students. If you just don't know what you're doing and don't know what to major in, talk to your superiors. If money is the issue, then talk to financial aid. If you find yourself maybe enjoying partying a little too much, ask for help. There are systems in place to make your college experience as painless as possible, so use them! There is very little in the way of counselling that your college staff are not equipped for, trust me.

Value all of the information you receive. If a superior has taken the time to say something to you - it's because it's important. Take the time to remember it.

And have a wicked good time. ;)"

Bay Alexison
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Alexison's Tips
Spoiler:
"Fairy talked about taking advantages of the services already,but I would like to add one thing. If you have room, join in a club/fraternity/sorority. There are loads of clubs that have specific interests, whether it be career oriented or one relate to your race/ethnicity, and you'll get network opportunities that will become important in your job search.

Speaking of which, try to get as many people in your network. It can be your friends, professors, co-workers (if you're working part time), club members, etc. Your school might also host loads of networking opportunities, sometimes even to a company out of town, so take advantage of that if it's related to your field of study."

colours
Quote:
Originally Posted by colour's Tips
Spoiler:
"Please have fun in college.

Like, that seems like a joke, but it isn't! College isn't just for throwing yourself into textbooks all day and night--there's a social scene at college just waiting to be found--and I'm not taking about the whole getting drunk etc frat parties or whatever, even small things like campus events, getting involved in extracurricular activities like clubs, sports etc would be a huge boon to your college experience, overall!

god knows how college has helped my social skills because I was part of our Student Government for a while. I used to be REALLY bad at talking, like, to the point of stuttering, but I've gained a lot of confidence compared to back then and I don't really have the fear of talking to most people like I did previously. I mean sure, I'm far from being a social butterfly, but I think the lesson that I've taken out of my experience is: there's more to college than just the classes. Get involved in every facet possible."

Nina
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nina's Tips
Spoiler:
Ok so literally as I graduated with my friend we wrote like a 4 part post about what to keep in mind (more specifically scad), hold up and let me give it to you.

I couldn't find the post but I found the email. Like I said, some are scad and art school specific, but in general:

Lifestyle
  • Sleep. Eight hours minimum. You need sleep. Your work will never be as good as you want it to be without proper rest.
  • Thank your bus driver!
  • Shower regularly. You will feel better and so will the people around you.
  • Don’t rely on energy drinks and coffee. Stimulants will keep you awake but they will never be a substitute for rest. Again — keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Learn to be self sufficient. When you’re not sure how to do something, google it.
  • Don't work when you are tired. It will affect your work, take you longer to work, and you will make poor decisions.
  • Go to bed. Sleep for a good amount of time. You will learn more and think clearly when you've had sleep.
  • Don't use cutting or power tools when tired. There's always a story every quarter of someone who went to the ER because of some mishap with the Xacto knife when they were in a rush.
  • Get a first aid kit. Know where it is.
  • If you have problems keeping yourself in working shape and your environment clean, do not get a pet.
  • It's okay to eat alone in the cafeteria. We're busy adults there's nothing wrong with you if you're not having lunch with friends. This isn't high school.
  • Upperclassmen are not scary. There's a good chance that we want to help you out, or we just don't care. This still isn't high school.
  • Drama isn't worth it. This really isn't high school.
  • Learn how to do chores like the laundry, doing dishes, cooking, etc. Even if you think you know how, try looking it up online just to be sure. There are a lot of people who don't realize that they were doing something incorrectly, and that's okay. Just make an effort to relearn.
  • Eat. Try to eat well. You need energy to work. You can not subsist on coffee alone.
  • Drink water, especially in the hot months. Take care of your body and you will take care of your mind.
  • Get membership/discount cards at places such as Blick and Kroger. Especially if you have a car, your points at Kroger can save you in gas. Use your coupons.
  • Always tip at restaurants. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out to eat.
  • People with cars are not your chauffeurs. Be respectful of their time and if you need to ask them to take you somewhere, do it far in advance.
  • Remember that there are groups for everything. You are not alone, and it's not shameful to reach out to find people who are like you.
  • By the same token, you are not required to socialize when you don’t feel like it.
  • Don't walk at night alone.
  • Make sure you have the number of a cab company, the local police, SCAD security, paramedics, and the fire department in your phone.
  • SLEEP.
  • You don't have to date. It's okay to be alone. You're here to learn and prepare for the future. You and your partner should be aware of the importance of your education.
  • Take a portable umbrella with you everywhere. Random showers are very common in Savannah.
  • You can technically bike everywhere in Savannah, but it is not easy. Take the laws of the road and your safety seriously. Make sure your bike has a light on it for night.
  • Establish rules with your roommate. Even about sex. It’s awkward, but it’s a lot less awkward than walking in on someone.
  • Don't latch lock your roommate out.
  • Don't take people's clothes out of the communal laundry. Yes, you suspect that they went to class and left it there for hours, but still don't do it.
  • Don't leave your laundry in a machine while you go to class. Get it out in a timely manner.
  • Be careful about spreading yourself thin. Don't promise yourself to many causes or groups if you can't make them. Make time for yourself.
  • Get some sunlight. Especially if your major is based out of Monty.



Technology
  • Don't work from the dropbox or a flash drive. It is harder for your file to process, and the dropbox is connected to the SCAD servers. These servers are the ones everyone uses, and may go down or be strained. Your file can be lost or corrupted, and these servers are wiped at times. Instead, work from the desktop and move files back to the dropbox when you’re done making changes.
  • Don't keep large PSDs or other files in your class dropbox, as it bogs down the dropbox for everyone involved.
  • Keep your files in a hardrive (portable or otherwise) and only use a flash drive to transport the files.
  • BACK UP YOUR FILES FREQUENTLY. Copies of your files should be in your hard drive, your personal computer, on a flash drive, on the school dropbox, and/or a free storage space such as google drive. There is no excuse for losing your files. At worst you should have a minor setback.
  • A good way to remember to regularly back up your work is to set a repeating event on your calendar to back up your files. (Bi-weekly is usually the most reasonable.)
  • Save often.
  • Put your contact info in a file on your flashdrive.
  • Do not eat or drink at your computer in the lab.
  • Wear headphones to be respectful of everyone working in the lab.
  • Please don't talk on your phone in the lab.
  • Clean off the scanners or cintiqs as they have oils and other media on them.
  • Have a system of organization. Keep a planner of all your responsibilities or classes somewhere, on your phone or otherwise.
  • Here is a list of helpful apps:
  • Citrus: for blocking distracting websites for a few hours while you focus on your work
  • Flux to give your eyes a break
  • Caffiene to keep your computer from going to sleep
  • Evernote is a free notes app
  • Google Drive is a free data storage space
  • LifeHacks is full of really great ideas
  • Wolfram Alpha
  • EasyBib
  • Google Scholar
  • Songza
  • Rainymood
  • There are plenty of todo list apps out there, but none quite as fun as Epic Quest

2016 Addition: Don't Vape in closed area/computer labs. Just because it isn't illegal doesn't mean people want to work in a vapor filled room. <-- Yes this actually happened.

Class Advice
  • Don’t wear pajamas to class - especially not your major classes.
  • Get to class on time.
  • Don't take hard lecture classes. Don't take easy major classes. You’re not here to just pass with a good grade, you’re here to prepare a bulletproof portfolio and you can’t do that if you don’t learn anything.
  • Always show up to class even if you don't have your work finished. The lectures and critiques are important.
  • Closely look at your syllabus before class. It tells you everything you need to know, and helps you have better questions for the first day of class.
  • If the supplies are not immediately needed, wait/plan to buy them. Ask classmates to share the cost of supplies with you.
  • Search online for books and you will have better luck with supplies at Blick or Utrecht.
  • Take care of your supplies. Clean your brushes properly. You can make them last for a long time.
  • Always use a cutting mat under your work when using an Xacto — otherwise you will destroy the flat surface you are cutting on.
  • Remember to change your Xacto blades often!
  • Plan how to get to class before you go. The bus routes and building maps are in the Resources tab of your Myscad.
  • Let the buses leave their stop. After they move they are not allowed to pick you up even if they only moved to the end of the street.
  • Don't leave trash in your workplace — especially in buildings you are about to leave.
  • You are here to work. It's not cool to not care, and it's wasting everyone else's time.
  • You may have been the biggest fish in your pond back home, but it is time to let go of that and open yourself up to learning, regardless of what skill level you are at compared to your classmates.
  • Don't burn bridges, you're going to have to work with these people again. Heck, you may even want to.
  • Make friends with your professors. They are here to help you and help you with your professional development.
  • Work on maintaining and updating an online portfolio from the beginning of your career.
  • Don't go to class under the influence of anything.
  • Research is real work. Take your pre-production work seriously. This makes the finished work easier, and will still be valid and useful if your final work is unsuccessful.
  • Don't pick your research topic the day before a paper is due.
  • Do not print right before class. Do not mat your work right before class.
  • Prepare your files before you print (PDF or Packaged InDesign File), and don't print at FedEx. Budget for time printing. Everyone else will be printing at the same time as you are.
  • Have your files ready before you present: keep them on a flash drive or uploaded already to the Dropbox. Use a PDF or JPEG for presentations - never an InDesign file or PSD
  • If you’re having trouble with presentations or even just how to phrase a question, try writing it down first.
  • Take DeVincent for speech. He's awesome.
  • RateMyProfessor is your friend.
  • Turn in your work on time, finished or not. The feedback is more important than the grade.
  • Don't make excuses. Learn to take responsibility for your actions.

Critiques
  • Critiques are hard, but essential. The only way to get better at them is to participate in them.
  • Show up to critique even if you don't have your work. You can apply the advice given to others in your own work and your classmates deserve your feedback.
  • Everyone's critique is valid. Your critique is valid, no matter skill level. Don't be afraid to comment on someone's work even if you don't feel yours is not as good.
  • While your work is being critiqued, it is not necessary for you to dominate the conversation. If you find yourself responding to every comment made on your image with more than thirty seconds of commentary, it is time to learn to sit back, nod, and listen.
  • Listen closely to what the person is saying and do not use that time to formulate a response. It is acceptable to just nod okay, and to ask questions back.
  • You are not under interrogation.
  • You do not have to do everything suggested. It is very important for you to internalize and think hard about the critique you've been given seriously, but if you really truly disagree with the advice given the last word is always your own.
  • When the critique of your work is over, write down everything you’ve heard so you can visit it later.
  • Critiques is a time to help each other produce better work. It is not a time for you to devalue your peers’ work or to make yourself sound smarter.
  • Be aware the people have different tastes. If you often say "In my experience…" or "I, personally…" you need to make sure you are not acting only of your own bias, but something that will benefit the artist's ideas.
  • Say something. You're all sitting in silence and no one wants to talk, and it's awkward. Just try to say something, it's okay.
  • Learn balance. Take critiques seriously, but not so much so that you are emotionally harmed. No one wants to make you cry, and if they do they aren't worth listening to.
  • Always remember to point out positives! Negatives are not the only parts of critiques.
  • Some days, critiques are really rough. It’s okay. Go home, relax and try to let it go. This is not the end of the world.

(wow, I should probably implement that crit list somewhere in a&d)

Sheep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheep's Tips
Spoiler:
Quote:
"If you have room, join in a club/fraternity/sorority. There are loads of clubs that have specific interests, whether it be career oriented or one relate to your race/ethnicity, and you'll get network opportunities that will become important in your job search."
I really want to emphasize this. Networking is massively important, often more so than your actual degree. I made the mistake of not making enough connections or keeping up with most friends after semesters ended so finding a career after school was a huge struggle. The more people you keep in touch with the better your future will be. Make as many connections as possible and you will be so much better off.

Anti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti's Tips
Spoiler:
depends on what "college" means since it encompasses a lot. my pov is from a small elite northeastern liberal arts college.

my tip is to take care of yourself and not to tie your self-worth into your academic performance. you go to school for academics, but there is no inherent virtue in doing well in school. mental health on campus as a whole was pretty bad despite our specific school being very anti-competitive about academic pursuits. didn't matter. stress culture is very easy to get caught up in depending on your school/social circumstances and i sometimes felt inferior for not wanting to work that hard or for not being as intense or "celebrating the life of the mind" or some bs.

so have fun. not just on weekends. schedule free time into your day where you absolutely will not do school work. skip or at least skim some class readings. skip class a few times a semester (but no single class more than once). if your campus is a bubble, leave it when you can. exercise. focus more on the classes you like. if you have to stay up late for an assignment, catch up on sleep asap. and so on. taking care of yourself is a skill and takes effort and that effort should not be ignored. maintaining perspective can be hard, but life is more than fretting about papers.

[source: my best friend alienated our entire friend group when writing two theses made her snippy and unpleasant in between periodic sobbing meltdowns. not good.

Team Fail
Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Fail's Tips
Spoiler:
've definitely learned a few things in college. I'll share what I've learned.

1. Take advantage of all the time that you have at your school. Whether it's between classes, or if you have to stay late, most professors don't mind if you have to use a classroom late in the day for labs or getting work done with a group of people or friends. This also brings in my next point.

2. Your professors are always available to help. Each professor may have different ways to get in touch with them, although the most efficient methods are usually listed in the course syllabus such as an e-mail or phone number. Some professors may also give their personal cell phone numbers so that you can text them and they can get back to you in a quick fashion that's faster than email and more convenient than calling. Otherwise, if you ever have questions, your professors are usually happy to help if they're not in a class or meeting.

3. Make at least one good friend/partner in all of your classes. That way, if you ever have to miss a class for some reason (Doctor's visits, appointments, sick days, etc), you can catch up on whatever you missed in class without many repercussions.

4. Don't be afraid to write in your textbooks. You paid for them, make full use of them! Draw illustrations relevant to your topics in the margins and highlight everything you need to! In addition, if you plan to sell your textbooks later, someone might be able to make use of them. On the topic of textbooks, check and see if your school has a used book sale - they usually allow you to bring in your books and set your own prices, and you can sell them to other students and get some money back for yourself! However, important books that you may want to keep as a reference would be good to keep (Eg, Programming textbooks, books that have many useful illustrations or references, etc.)

5. Student discounts! Those are super important to know about. Most schools have partnered with various stores and shops in the community to give discounts to students! Ask around and provide a student ID and you might be saving yourself some money. As well, if there's other student discount cards (Such as the Student Price Card (SPC) in Canada), take advantage of them. They may cost you a little to purchase, but you make up that difference very quickly. Some websites also offer free services or software to students that have a valid school email, so check with your favorite sites, you might be able to save some money there too.

6. Have a good study playlist. Then when you're studying or working on assignments, you can turn on your playlist and focus on your work. Just make sure your music isn't too distracting.

7. Get yourself a laptop. It doesn't really matter how much you put into it (Unless you need a powerful computer for a programming class or something like that). That way, you can type out all your notes and if it has a touch screen or you have an appropriate tablet, you can draw illustrations. Windows 10 comes with OneNote for free, and it's a great starting place for taking quick notes. You'll be able to make out notes much faster since you're typing, and you can print them at your leisure. You can probably find a decent-priced one at a pawn shop or during back-to-school sales, or perhaps events around Christmas are also decent times to get a computer for your Winter semesters. Along with this, make sure you have a printer. Most schools will charge to print papers. All you'll really need is a printer that can print in black and white so you can print off papers. Save the money that the school charges you for making color copies. That way, you're not wasting money on ink. If you're not keen on ink, find a laser printer. They'll last you much longer, although their quality is a bit lower.

8. Take care of yourself. Make sure you're eating properly and at least somewhat on-time. If you're feeling sleepy, take a nap or head to bed a bit earlier and turn of the screens sooner. It's better to get rest outside of class when you can rather than fall asleep in class and miss instruction or assignment time. Don't forget to shower as well. You don't want to arrive at your classes grubby and smelly.

9. If you're falling behind or you're super stressed out, your school may have resources to help with coping. Don't keep everything bottled in, you will regret it.

10. If your school has a student health plan, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! Even if you have one with your job, most schools that have a health plan mostly do co-pays (Which means you only pay a portion of the total cost, and the health plan covers the rest) and another insurance/health plan can usually cover the rest. You never know when you'll get sick or hurt, and the last thing you need is to have to shell out more money for prescriptions or trips to the emergency room. Paying a lump sum in your tuition payments for the health plan is way cheaper than paying for prescriptions and other things.

11. Take some time to reward yourself. Go and have a drink with some classmates (But don't get wasted!) or play a round of pool with a few people. Making connections also really helps in this way, that way you can do things with people outside of class and not be totally bored.

12. Learn some good note-taking techniques. Your professors will be writing a lot of things on the board and speaking at the same time. Take shorthands of what they have so you can get the general concept, that way you have more time for listening to what they say, because not everything they say will make it onto the board. Once you've taken down everything in the class, take some time to re-write your notes in a neater fashion that you can understand that is also more fleshed-out. If your professors allow for it, you can also use a voice recorder to record your lectures so you can listen to them later in case you missed anything.

13. Bursaries and scholarships! Most schools have tons of these, and they can really cut back on the costs of schooling. Ask a counselor if they have a list of these, and go online and find ones for your state/province/country and apply for them. Apply for as many as you can, because there's all sorts of reasons for the different ones out there, and you may just get a few and pay off more of your schooling than you realize!

14. Get a cell phone. You don't need a super-expensive phone or plan, but as long as you can keep in tabs with classmates or parents, you should be fine. That way, if you have a quick question that you can ask someone, they're right there and available that moment. Just make sure you're not diving into them while in class - most professors don't like this unless you have a very legitimate reason to use it in class.

15. Ask your professors if there's any online copies of their notes and examples (Such as an online cloud copy or Moodle if your school uses it or a professor's website). Some professors use PowerPoint presentations or write from notes that they have online or use examples that they have saved online. That way, you can get them wherever you are and read them as you need them, and if you miss a day, you still have some lecture notes you can read over and ask for clarification about later.

16. Besides all of the important classes, take ONE class that interests you or is something you enjoy doing. It'll be even better if you can use it as credits to fulfill requirements for your line of study, but take one that interests you. That way, you can have one class that you don't have to cry about when going to it because it's something that you enjoy doing, plus, it can be a simple GPA booster.

17. NEVER cram study or cram assignments. These usually lead to late nights and ungodly amounts of stress. Plan ahead and work on assignments a chunk at a time so that you have time to revise and revisit before the due date. If a professor gives you a period of time to hand in, use all that time, unless you can get extra credit for handing it in early - some professors do this to encourage handing in of assignments earlier and more on-time.

18. Avoid the cafeteria unless absolutely necessary. They're usually too expensive, although some campuses do have good but cheap cafeterias. Check first before buying, or you'll be seeing red in your bank accounts sooner than you realize.

19. Have a low-impact part-time job. That way, you can make sure you have at least a small income flow to get you through the year. Don't pick a job that is incredibly labor-intensive - you'll be tired when you get home and you won't want to do your work. In addition, find a job that is close to either your campus, home, or both. That way, you don't have to commute a whole lot. If you're living on-campus, that's an added bonus.

20. Be at your school early. Plan ahead and ensure you can get to your school with time to spare. This is especially important in bad weather, you may encounter delays or transit may be behind, or your friend might be stuck in traffic on their way to your place. Give yourself time to eat beforehand and review notes before your first classes of the day, that way you're not walking in and still trying to find that one thing you wrote down the day before.

21. Treat your syllabus like it's the word of God himself. Those lay out the roadmap for your entire semester - what topics you'll cover, what equipment you'll need, contact information, course descriptions/codes, times for the classes and professors' availability, it has it all.

22. Carpool. If you live off-campus, find a few friend that you all can carpool together on a regular basis. Just remember to chip in your fair share for gas! It may even be cheaper than getting a bus pass, and possibly even faster!

gimmepie
Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmepie's Tips
Spoiler:
The only tip I have is that no matter how smart you are, you will run into something you struggle with. High school is not very good preparation , or at least not as good as it should be, so don't go in expecting it to be a breeze. At some point you will need to work and work hard - when this time comes don't panic and just do it.

Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers' Tips
Spoiler:
I'll just leave a quick one here for now: allow yourself to drink and not think every once in a while. Not forever, and not always. But even if you don't drink, allow yourself to spend time with friends. Uni friends are often similar to you since you might share the same goals and views. HAVE. FUN.

Mana
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mana's Tips
Spoiler:
I love how most of these pieces of advice say "Don't forget to have fun!" My advice was going to be "Don't miss your classes and don't feel pressured to go out if you have something important" :c.

Oh and always put your health first (unless you're hungover, then suck it up).

donavannj
Quote:
Originally Posted by donavannj's Tips
Spoiler:
Can't see that anyone's said this from skimming the posts above, but don't overload yourself. Seriously. Overloading leads to crashing and burning.

Stormzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormzy's Tips
Spoiler:
wear protection, people will psyduck you

Tsutarja
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsutarja's Tips
[spoiler]
Spoiler:
Get to know your professors. Visit them during their open office hours and have a chat with them, and ask them about the course if you do have any questions. They are there to help you succeed, especially if you are stuck on anything.
[/quote]

So, what do you guys think? Any advice that sticks out to you? Feel prepared for college? Comment below as I'd love to hear and discuss with you what you have to say about this topic!

‡ As always, the "Daily Bloggity" is self written by myself and includes just some of my opinions on different mediums. If you have a subject that you might want me to touch on, feel free to PM me or comment below! I would love to hear some of your ideas! And remember, rate each entry so I can know what you guys like and what to improve on! Tune in tomorrow at 5PM Eastern Time for the next edition of the "Daily Bloggity!" Cheers! ‡

- El Héroe Oscuro

Spoiler:

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